FEDERAL POLITICAL PARTIES SHOULD TAKE YOUR PERSONAL PRIVACY SERIOUSLY AND COMPLY WITH BC’S PERSONAL INFORMATION PROTECTION ACT
Canada’s main federal political parties (FPPs) are working to circumvent privacy protection laws that protect the personal information of voters.
On March 1st, 2022, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of BC (OIPC) issued Order P22-02 stating that the FPPs need to comply with BC’s Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA). This decision was made after an extensive review considered the rights of BC complainants who requested their personal information from the FPPs according to access rights enshrined in law. The FPPs think they are beyond the reach of provincial law, and that an individual has no right to access the personal information the party holds about them. They have called for a judicial review to overturn Order P22-02.
The FPPs are in an inherent conflict of interest when dealing with the personal information of the electorate. They legislate private and public bodies to constrain the collection, use, disclosure, destruction, and retention of personal information, yet advocate for the absence of legal constraints on their activities. They seek exemption precisely because they benefit from the lack of constraints. These benefits include the manipulation of personal information for the marketing and communication of each FPPs’ commercial and electoral activities.
The operation of “one set of rules for us and another for everybody else” should not be allowed to continue.
While our federal politicians try to update the rules that apply to commercial organizations in a modernized version of Canada’s Personal Information and Protection of Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), they also contend that the FPPs should not be subject to the same rules. These actions have the potential to impact the privacy of citizens and undermine citizens’ trust in, and the integrity of, Canada’s democratic system. Rather than challenging the BC law that protects their constituents, the FPPs should be supporting the addition of privacy protections for all people in Canada in an updated federal privacy law.
Policy Options Article
Our message is simple:
We the undersigned support the BC complainants who have requested their personal information from the federal political parties according to their access rights enshrined in legislation and ask the federal political parties to respect the laws that protect personal information.
Email us at yourpoliticalprivacy at fipa.bc.ca to add your name to the list.